Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom it is observed in October.
The Corner celebrates and commemorates black history month every year. The theme for this year’s black history month was ‘Black Migrations’. The Corner staff along with volunteers and placement students were involved in the planning and execution of the month-long celebrations. Biographies of black Canadians were posted regularly at The Corner, with the aim to promote awareness of Canada’s rich black heritage. Additionally, an inspirational quote by people of African descent was shared through The Corner’s social media handles every day. Students from the University of Toronto were also involved in a three-day outreach, promoting the celebrations at The Corner.
On the 27th of February, The Corner concluded the celebrations with a community event. Due to the inclement weather on the day, several residents couldn’t turn up for the event, but 25 eager and brave souls did. Residents watched a beautiful presentation and video explaining the history and origin of black migration. Participants also participated in a tour of the history of black migration, told through pictures, quotes and biographies. Apart from this, there were also games for kids, and residents tracked their own migration stories through a collaborative art project where they traced their routes to Canada on a world map. The event concluded with a delicious dinner consisting of rice, seasoned vegetables, and jerk chicken.